With this issue, Art OnCuba enters in its second year of life. Five editions. There are still few to declare it a mature project. In each one of them, however, we have tried to maintain the focus, vision and enthusiasm the birth of the magazine marked. It is not just in the act of adding, convoking and promoting, but also in the seriousness and consistency when offering our readers a way to understand Cuban art by being more loyal to the context than to some given poetics; that is why in every number we will continue approaching the visible edges, the most hidden ones almost with more emphasis, to weave, according to our judgment, a framework that will help the reader to have a more organic view of what was and is and why it is.
We have arrived to its fifth number challenging that constant that has marked art publications in Cuba, most of which have not have a long life, barely exceeding their first editions. Our purpose has not only been showing artistic proposals, but also giving voice and space to the youngest generations of writers and researchers who have contributed their freshness and intelligence in their respective approaches to art.
One of the thematic lines of this edition is memory. And almost everything has to do with memory, but this time we have gathered a set of texts on the way in which a group of artists builds their discourse, firmly supported in the conscious exercise of memory. In a variegated spectrum they have left the testimony, which in turn will also become memory, of their individual experiences, of the memory of the nation, of its history, of its position in the scenography of its times, the modes and models of visualization in the last fifty years, to say it in a given way.
Not only that: our exercise dates back to the early 20th century in Cuba, a beautiful time in which hundreds of covers, illustrations and advertisements, with a frequently overwhelming simplicity and beauty, were conceived and that years and progress − understood as something almost impossible to avoid − cornered in libraries or private collections, but with marked and set off almost all the trends we today consider with absolute legitimacy.
In this context, drawing as tradition and continuous exercise in Cuban art comes to light. Drawing as a project, as an exercise, or as a work in itself. Drawings kept in José Lezama Lima’s house, testimonies of coincidences, of intellectual connections, of affections; drawings by Marcelo Pogolotti which show a diversity of topics, beyond the worker and the machine; Raúl Milián’s extensive work, recently retaken by the National Fine Arts Museum in a personal exhibition; Carlos Estévez’s technique, combining oils and pencils. Also, from these and other multiple edges, we offer a journey through Esterio Segura’s poetics and some advance on what his next solo exhibition, programmed to open on December in Factoría Habana, will be.
Some group shows called our attention because of the clearness and soundness of their curatorial proposal, because of timely revisiting what we already know from new perspectives, or for the capacity to recover landmarks at times forgotten or displaced from the centers of attention. In this sense, The Miami Generation: Revisited, a “reissue” of that exhibition held in 1983 in the Museo Cubano de Arte y Cultura, Miami, returns to the first generation of Cuban-American artists, who migrated when still children, and contributed a new sensitivity for creation in the south of Florida and for the history of Cuban art.
And to finish, last but not least, the special opportunity to learn very closely the details on a group of works by Juan Francisco Elso that came to light after years of oblivion, a moment to turn our eyes to this artist and revaluate and update criteria on his productions that are been managed.
We believe that Art OnCuba has always been there and, of course, we also believe it will be there forever. It is an almost infinite process and very, very intense for all those who are members of the team of this magazine.
IN THIS ISSUE
Editor in Chief / Publisher
Executive Managing Editor
Editorial Director / Editor
Design & Layout
Translation and English copyediting
Commercial director & Public Relations / Cuba